Seafood lovers hooked on new Granville Street restaurant

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Fish ‘n’ chips and oyster lovers have a new mecca in downtown Vancouver.

The Fish Shack opened its doors last week on Granville Street, in the space formerly occupied by Middle-Eastern eatery Sanafir (It’s another Glowbal creation, like Coast, Italian Kitchen, et al, for those keeping track).  And judging by the crowds over the weekend chowing down on oysters, prawns, clams and – of course – fish ‘n’ chips, it’s an early hit.

The interior is made up to look like a rustic seafood shack (which is quite a shocking transformation, considering how elegant Sanafir aspired to be).  Wooden pallets line the walls of the 100-seat space, a nod to the hardscrabble fishing life.  Chalkboards are scrawled with fish facts and trivia (like “swordfish use their sword as a lance, not a spear”), while seats are upholstered to look like vintage lifejackets.

The atmosphere, too, is downhome and unpretentious.  Rock and blues from Creedence, ZZ Top and Eric Clapton blast from the sound system.  The bar area is full and rowdy – a noisy bell clangs each time someone leaves a tip.  And the dress code is nonexistent, with diners in everything from tailored suit jackets to grungy flannels.

But what about the food?   Continue reading:
Seafood lovers hooked on new Granville Street restaurant

In Praise of Vancouver Beach Concession Stands

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Vancouver’s chic-progressive-fresh-local-organic-sustainable restaurant scene gets plenty of attention.  So let me take a moment to praise some unsung, blue-collar heroes of the local food world: the beach (and park) food concession stands.

There are dozens of these humble concessions scattered around Vancouver’s beaches and parks.  They generally don’t look like much from the outside – squat, even ugly, brick buildings with big windows out front where food is served.  And the menus for the most part aren’t terribly exciting – burgers and dogs, fish-and-chips, ice cream and the usual stuff.

But, for beachgoers ravenous after a day in the sun or powerwalkers famished from a long stroll on the seawall, there is arguably no higher cuisine than concession fare.

Continue reading:
In Praise of Vancouver Beach Concession Stands